Guy Noves, Strettle, Junior World Cup, Player Moves, USA Rugby, World Rugby News

Toulouse coach Guy Noves
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Toulouse coach Guy Noves
Guy Noves

NEW YORK, NY – The talk this weekend was all about playoff rugby, playoff races, college and U-20 action. Sprinkle in names like Guy Noves, David Strettle and you’ve got some spice. Let’s get to it.

Player Transactions:

#TOP14:  The big news of the weekend was that Toulouse head coach Guy Novès will replace Philippe Saint-André as France coach after this year’s World Cup… According to Yahoosport, former All Blacks utility back Bruce Reihana has joined Bordeaux Bègels’ coaching staff on a three-year deal, and will be a fitness coach at the Top 14 club – whom he played for between 2011 and 2014Former All Black winger Rudi Wulf has signed a three-year deal with Castres, ending his stay with European champions, Toulon.

Aviva Premiership: Gloucester second row Tom Palmer will be spending next season in the Pro12 with Italian side TrevisoSaracens announced that England winger David Strettle will leave the club and join ASM Clermont Auvergne for the 2015/16 season… Wasps confirmed that vice-captain Chris Bell has been forced to retire with immediate effect, due to a shoulder injury picked up earlier this season.

David Strettle
David Strettle

Super Rugby: The Japan Rugby Football Union has launched a fan engagement initiative as part of the process to devise a name for its new team that will join Super Rugby in 2016.

USA Rugby News/Updates: USA Rugby announced that tickets are now on sale for the USA Rugby Men’s Eagles match against the Qantas Wallabies of Australia in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match, presented by Astellas at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL on Saturday, September 5

#CRC7s: Click here for more information and click here for Jake Frechette’s covers the latest installment of the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s, sponsored by Penn Mutual, in his hometown of Philadelphia.

World Rugby News: World Rugby has announced the shortlist for the prestigious Women’s Sevens Player of the Year 2015 award, with the winner set to be revealed at the World Rugby Awards dinner at Battersea Evolution, London, on November 1st. After the thrilling and record-breaking Women’s Sevens World Series 2014-15 concluded in Amsterdam last weekend, this year’s nominees are: Charlotte Caslick (Australia), Sarah Goss (New Zealand), Nadezhda Kudinova (Russia) and Portia Woodman (New Zealand).

Super Rugby Trophy

As for the weekend’s fixtures:
Super Rugby: Our Super Rugby expert, Kiwi ‘s review of this weekend’s action is once again fantastic. He also helps paint the new playoff picture. For his fantastic review click here.

#Top14: Our Top 14 expert, , is back to recap the first round of the Top 14 playoffs. The matches between long time rivals Stade Francais and Racing Metro and historic giants Toulouse and upstarts Oyonnax were both classics in their own right. Click here for his review.

Aviva Premiership: There are new champions of the Aviva Premiership. Our Aviva Expert, Nick Hall has a great review of the final and all the thrilling action, just click here.

Guinness Pro 12: Congratulations to The Glasgow Warriors!! The regular season champions defeated Munster in the Pro12 Final, in Belfast.

Here are the results:
Sat – 30th May 15
Glasgow Warriors 31 – 13 Munster

Exhibition Matches: There are two exhibition matches this weekend. The Fiji Warriors easily defeated Uruguay, while Kenya‘s young players had a brilliant match against a young Portugal side.

Here are the results:
Sat – 30th May 15
Exhibition Match: Uruguay 22 – 42 Fiji Warriors
Exhibition Match: Kenya 41 – 15 Portugal

U20 Captains_ItaliaJunior World Cup: The JWC is the yearly World Cup held for U-20 teams of the top tier rugby playing nations. Japan qualified for it by winning last year’s Junior World Trophy, the second tier competition.  This year’s tournament is being held in Italy. England go into the tournament as defending champions for the past two years. In the first round of Pool play, this Tuesday, Ireland take on Argentina, France play Wales, Australia face rivals Samoa, England tackle Japan, New Zealand and Scotland face off then finally the host Italy entertain South Africa.

Here is the schedule:
Tue – 1st Jun 15
Ireland – Argentina
France – Wales
Australia – Samoa
England – Japan
New Zealand – Scotland
South Africa – Italy

Africa Cup: The Africa Cup 2015 will be the fifteenth edition of the continental tournament that involves the best African national teams, organized by the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). Given their superiority, the South African national team has rarely participated in the tournament and the 4 times the SARU has, they sent either a U-23 team or amateur side, they go on to win it. Beyond South Africa, there are up to 27 rugby countries in the Cup with the national participants in the two divisions with each division divided into three groups ( 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, and 2C ), with promotion and relegation. Tournaments Divisions 1A and 1B’s games are often double as qualification games for the Rugby World Cup. In division 2 North Championships action, Mali thrashed Benin, Togo were no match for Niger and Burkina Faso edged out against Ghana.

Here are the results:
Sat – 30th May 15
North 2: Mali 60 – 0 Benin
North 2: Togo 15 – 50 Niger
North 2: Burkina Faso 12 – 0 Ghana

rugby europeEuropean Nations Cup:The ENC, or the 6 Nations “B” , is the premier tournament for the second-tier nations of Europe. Believe it or not, the ENC consists of seven divisions, each featuring between four and six teams. The matches played will determine who will get promoted and relegated from groups 1B, 2A – 2D, and 3A over a two-year cycle. Division 1A aka the 6 Nations B is where the six best teams in the rest of Europe reside and there is no promotion to the Europe’s premier international rugby competition, only relegation back to 1B…This weekend in 1B action, Netherlands managed to get past Sweden.

Here are the results:
Sat – 30th May 15
1B: Netherlands 24 – 14 Sweden

The Asian Rugby Championship, which is similar to the ENC (European Nation’s Cup) but with 5 divisions with the 3 most dominant teams, the tri-nations of Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan in the top division. There are 4 teams in division 1 and 2 then division 3 is broken up into East, Central and West with 3 teams each before we finally get to division 4 with 7. Believe it or not this is allegedly streamlined from previous years where it was just 5 divisions and 5 teams in each… In weekend D3 action, Uzbekistan got the better of India but after having lost a midweek match-up between the two sides, it appears India won on aggregate 46-40.

Here are the results:
Sat – 30th May 15
D3 Central: Uzbekistan 32 – 15 India

That’s it for now! Feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Nick Hall, DJ Eberle, Jake Frechette, Scheenagh Harrington, Jamie Loyd, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter, Audrey Youn, Akweley Okine, Rocky Brown and Declan Yeats, respectively.

And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.

About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at